The population of barking deer is declining due to various adverse factors and now only 300 to 400 of them have been spotted in different ranges and national parks across the country.
The initial findings of the latest survey being finalized by the climate change ministry showed that damage to the forest cover and water resources and illegal hunting is still causing a decrease in the number of barking deer.
“Forest damage, hunting, touching, and overgrazing by livestock were the major threats to the conservation of barking deer in the country,” it showed.
The presence of a greater shrub cover can ensure the continued availability of diet to this species that is facing extinction in different parts of the world.
The draft of the survey said barking deer or Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus Muntjac) is a small-sized deer of the order Artiodactyla.
It is mostly found in Margalla Hills National Park and some parts of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Barking deer has short dainty legs with a heavy body.
The body height ranges from 43-52 cm tall. It is confined to the Himalayan foothills zone where there is a remnant of tropical dry deciduous forest and in Pakistan, it does not ascend above 1,200 meters.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said “The conservation of wildlife and the protection of their habitats have been given the highest priority when it comes to restoring the wildlife sector.”
While the main challenge is to preserve degrading wildlife habitats, the government is committed to overcoming it under the country’s largest-ever afforestation programme, he said.
He said, “Pakistan’s first institutional National Parks Service is now underway, which will protect and conserve the protected areas as biodiversity reserves and wildlife habitats.”